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Thames High School’s Japanese exchange students with principal Michael Hart (centre). Photo: GORDON PREECE

International students resubmit at Thames High

Thames High School has reopened its doors with a big “konnichiwa” to returning international students after two years of Covid-19 detention.
Twelve Japanese and one German exchange students were welcomed on to the school grounds at the beginning of term three, and two more Japanese students are expected to arrive later in the term.
They join seven Japanese exchange students who remained at the school during New Zealand’s border closures from April, 2020.
Thames High School international students director Pauline Managh told The Profile it was “very nice” to have them back and immersed within the school’s culture.
“A lot of students here haven’t seen international students being at school so for our year nine and tens, it’s just really nice,” she said.
“You hear them talk about it and interact with them and not only is it assisting us financially as a school but also it’s actually great for our domestic students to see that whole globalisation.
“It’s also nice to be busy again for myself and have a job that’s challenging.”
Pauline said returning international students would also help financially support the school’s staffing, resourcing for the international department, shortfall in operational funding and ICT.
The school worked closely with English language school Evakona Education’s Thames Campus to arrange for the Japanese students to attend Thames High School, and worked predominantly with German agencies for European students, she said.
“Evakona Education also organises the Japanese students’ homestays and when it comes to the European students, I organise them all,” Pauline said.
“We will be welcoming more international students back next year and we’re always on the outlook for homestays.”
Pauline said the new international students, who come from individual schools in their home countries, all came to experience a New Zealand high school and would be at Thames High School for a short period.
“For the Japanese students it’s their summer holiday back in Japan so they fly in, do school work and fly back home,” she said.
“We will be doing some lunch time activities like badminton, volleyball and table tennis, and we’ve got spirit week soon as well.”
Pauline said more international students will arrive next year including more from Europe and Japan, who will stay in Thames for longer periods.